Local SEO

OTime to complete: 10 hours

This project will walk you through optimizing your website for better local SEO.

Completing these steps will allow you to:

  • Get found for local search based on your business's geographic location.
  • Increase the online traffic to your website.
Step 1: If you have one location only, optimize your About Us or Contact Us page.
Learn how

To-do

  1. Head to Landing Pages.
  2. Include your business name, address and phone number (your NAP) on the page.
  3. Embed a Google Map onto the page.


Pro Tip

If applicable, include your business hours, store description, parking and transportation information on the page.
Learn how to edit a landing page
 
Step 2: If you have multiple locations, create and optimize location pages.
Learn how

To-do

  1. Head to Landing Pages.
  2. Create a new page (ie - yourbusiness.com/cambridge) or pick a page to edit.
  3. Include your business name, address and phone number (your NAP) on each page.
  4. Include your business hours, store description, parking and transportation information.
  5. Embed a Google Map onto each page.

Pro Tip

If you have several location pages, avoid duplicating content on them.  Make sure that each page is unique, so that search engines don't see it as duplicate content.
Learn how to create a landing page
 
Step 3: Place your city, state, and/or country on your homepage or location pages.
Learn how

To-do

  1. If you have one geographic location only, optimize your homepage.
    1. Head to Site Pages.
    2. Find the page you want to edit.
    3. Add your business's city, state and/or country abbreviation to the page title
  2. If you have mutliple geographic locations, optimize your dedicated location pages.
    1. Head to Landing Pages.
    2. Find the page you want to edit.
    3. Add your business's city, state and/or country abbreviations in the page titles and URLs.

Example

Pro Tip

When editing a live URL, HubSpot will automatically set up a 301 Redirect for your old blog post.  This saves all of the SEO credit for the blog post, and makes it so that only the new URL will show up in Google.  It also ensures that you don't break any links to the old post.  Lastly, it will keep all of your old data right in HubSpot!
Learn how to create and edit website pages
 
Step 4: Put your business name, address and phone number (NAP) in the header or footer of all pages.
Learn how

To-do

  1. Head to Content Settings.
  2. Click on Page Publishing in the left sidebar.
    1. Edit the header or footer using basic HTML to include your NAP.
  3. Click on Blog in the left sidebar.
    1. Edit the header or footer using basic HTML to include your NAP.
  

Example

Pro Tip

Include your NAP as text on the page, not as an image. Search engines can only process text as they're scanning and processing website pages, not images.

Step 5: Use social media to get found locally.
Learn how

To-do

  1. Fill out your profile information on your business's social media accounts, and include your location.
    1. If you have multiple locations, create a social media page for each (ie - facebook.com/mybusinesscambridge)
  2. Monitor local social media.
    1. Navigate to the Social Monitoring tool.
    2. Click on the "+" button on the right of all of your monitoring streams to create a new one.
    3. Monitor mentions of your business or industry and your location

Example

Pro Tip

Engage with the people on Twitter who you're monitoring.  Follow them, retweet them, respond to them, or congratulate them!  You can also make sure to be the first to reach out, answer a question or give a coupon.
Learn how to set up social monitoring streams
 
Step 6: Write location-specific content.
Learn how

To-do

  1. Head to the Blog tool.
  2. Write blog posts that are about topics relevant to your location: a list of the best tailors in Cambridge, explanations of regional rules or regulations, coverage of the local news, etc.

Pro Tip

Make sure that you include the location that you're writing about in the title of the blog post and the URL.  This will help search engines understand the local emphasis of the page.
Learn how to write a blog post
 
Step 7: Create a Google+ Local Listing page for your business.
Learn how

To-do

  1. Create a Google+ Local Listing page.
    1. If you have one brick-and-mortar location, link to your homepage.
    2. If you have multiple brick-and-mortar locations, link to the dedicated location page for each.
  2. Optimize your Google+ Local business categories.
    1. Pick your business categories for your listing page.  Use this list of business categories to find the most relevant industries.
    2. Include both broad and specific categories related to your business – we recommending picking 4-5.

Example

Step 8: Remove duplicate listings from Google.
Learn how

To-do

  1. Use Google Mapmaker to remove any duplicate listings.

Pro Tip

Why do duplicate listings on Google happen?Usually, it's when several employees unknowingly create multiple listings of your business.  Those duplicates will dilute your local links and reviews on Google - so it's important to get rid of them!
Want to learn how to remove duplicate listings from Google?
Read the blog post: How to Remove Duplicate Listings on Google Maps
Step 9: Get 5+ local reviews on Google+
Learn how

To-do

  1. Get reviews from your customers.  Use Whitespark’s review handout generator – you can either email it or hand it out in your store.

Example

Pro Tip

Listings with reviews are more trust-worthy for searchers.  Once you get more than 5+ reviews, you’ll start seeing the star rating system next to your listing.
Want to get started with Google reviews?
Read this Google help document
Step 10: Set up a Yelp page and get reviews.
Learn how

To-do

  1. Set up a Yelp page.
  2. Embed a Yelp review badge on your website pages - simply paste the code that Yelp provides right into the page.  The reviews will update automatically as they change on Yelp.
  3. Include a link to your Yelp page in your email signature that reads "Check us out on Yelp!"
  4. To build your Yelp community, find your friends on Yelp from email or Facebook.

Pro Tip

Be careful – Yelp is stricter than Google+ Local.   You can't directly ask for reviews, but you can tell people to check your business out on Yelp.
Want to learn more about Yelp's review policy?
Read their article: Don't Ask For Reviews
Step 11: Set up a page for your business on the top directories
Learn how

To-do

  1. For the US, set up a page on the four major map data aggregators for search engines:
    1. Express Update
    2. Neustar Localeze
    3. My Business Listing Manager
    4. Factual
  2. Set up a page for your business on popular Local Business Directories.
  3. Set up a page for your business on the Top Local Citation Sources by Country
  4. Set up a page for your business on the Best Local Citations by Category

Pro Tip

Directories are websites like Yelp, Yellow Pages, and your local chamber of commerce.  Having a page on a directory will increase the number of links and citations to your website.  Citations are mentions of your business name and address online, even if those outside websites don’t link to you. 

Verify the consistency of your business address across all citation sites (is it First Street or 1st St.?) A free tool like moz.com/local can make this process quicker. If you have more than one location, set up a page for each location.

Want help making your citations consistent?
Check out the Moz Local tool
Step 12: Build local relationships to earn local links.
Learn how

To-do

  1. Build relationships by partnering with and participating in local events, community organizations, etc.
  2. Complete the Link Building Strategies project for other link building tactics.

Pro Tip

Earning links from local sources takes some time, but will help improve your local SEO.  Creating that location-specific content in Step 6 will go a long way if it's content that's worth linking to.